MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Police Department is alarmed by a new case revealing a “long period” of abuse of a 4-year-old boy. The judge in the case also had some strong words in court.
“I think it’s pretty horrific,” said Circuit Judge Mindy Glazer as 22-year-old Suzune Theodore appeared before her in bond court.
Theodore faces several charges, including child abuse and child neglect.
A Miami police arrest report stated Theodore initially claimed that her son burned himself accidentally with hot water from a sink in their apartment at NW 4 Ct. and 20 St. on Nov. 1. She said that she and a friend held her son’s hand under cold water and put Neosporin on his hand. When it started bleeding the next day, that’s when she said she took him to Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Miami PD spokeswoman Kenia Fallat told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that “once we became involved and so did DCF, we discovered that the stories the victim and she were telling did not match.”
An arrest report stated the victim told investigators that Theodore’s boyfriend held his hand under hot water because he was mad at him.
“That’s what we are looking at right now. And if that was the case, these charges are there because the mother was apparently present,” Fallat said. “And we are looking for this other person who was allegedly involved, and we don’t know if this other person exists.”
The report said police took photos that depicted a “long period of abuse.”
The report said, “There was a multiple area in his back with marks which the victim called stripes consistent with being struck with a whip causing laceration to the skin. The victim also had old marks on his right and left arm, his abdomen, back and legs.”
Even though the child had severe third-degree burns requiring surgery, Fallat said he is going to be OK.
The report said Theodore was aware that there was a problem with hot water in her apartment but she never called apartment managers to fix the problem. The report said she did not seek immediate medical care for her son because she did not want to involve DCF and the police.
She’s now being held on $12,500 bond and Glazer ordered her to have no contact with her son. Theodore revealed in court that she had four sons.
When Glazer noted that she had four sons at the age of 22, she said, “It does not get any easier as they get older.”
Glazer also found probable cause for the charges against Theodore.
Fallat said, “It is very concerning because a lot of times victims do not come forward and we need people to come forward so cases like this do not come to fruition. It appears there was long term abuse, and we need help breaking the silence and we need people coming forward. The child in this case was small but there were other siblings and we need all people to come forward when a crime occurs. It is very sad to see this happen regardless of age but a 4-year-old is not one who can always easily explain what took place.”